BBY ANDREW WILLETT | Ball State Sports Link
Ball State took care of business Saturday against Central Michigan, putting themselves in a position to control its own destiny.
After putting together a complete football game on both sides of the ball, the Cardinals have the chance to advance to the MAC Championship with a win in Week 6 against Western Michigan.
Despite being without star running back Caleb Huntley, the offense still went out and put up its best performance of the season, behind the arm of senior quarterback Drew Plitt.
Plitt’s 395 total yards and five total touchdowns had the offense on fire. While the offense racked up 45 points by the time it was all said and done, s Ball State’s defense delivered again.
From the very first drive, the defense registered a huge stop when Central Michigan went for it on 4th-and-2. The stop provided the Cardinals’ offense great field position and allowed them to get on the board first.
The defense held the Chippewas scoreless through the first quarter, and then did not let them score again in the 1st half after a touchdown to start the second quarter.
They continued to set up the offense for Ball State with great field position provided by great plays from the Cardinals.
Bryce Cosby and Brandon Martin both recorded huge sacks to force consecutive three-and-outs for Central Michigan and led to back-to-back Ball State scores.
The special teams followed with a fumble recovery to end the half with a 24-7 lead, but they did not stop there. They recovered another fumble after minutes in to the second half and set up another Ball State touchdown.
The defense finished the last three Central Michigan possessions with two interceptions with a sack and three-and-out in between to finish the game, completing a dominant performance as Ball State beat Central Michigan 45-20.
While the whole defense arguably played its best game of the season, our Ball State Defensive Player of the game from Week 5 is a two-time recipient, Brandon Martin.
Martin, who entered the day sixth in the nation at 12.3 tackles per game, totaled nine total tackles, eight of which were solo, to go along with one sack and a tackle for loss. He led the team in tackles and picked up one of four sacks that got the offense back on the field to score a touchdown.
After earned Ball State’s Defensive Player of the Game in Week 2, we said to expect more big performances from Martin, and he has delivered. On the year, he has 58 total tackles with 4.5 tackles for loss and has been a key piece and leader.
It was an end-to-end performance by the defense, and yet again, the man all over the field for the Cardinals was Brandon Martin.
After allowing fewer points every week since Week 1, the BSU’s defense allowed the fewest points of the season last week (20). It’s looking as strong as ever heading into the matchup of the season with Western Michigan Saturday and the chance to advance win a West Division Championship.
Sports Link GameDay LIVE gets you ready for the action Saturday at 11 a.m. on social (@bsusportslink), leading up to kick on ESPN+ and with SL Digital (www.mixlr.com/bsusportslink).